March 29, 2011
By Stephanie West
In an effort to address the Child Care Crisis that threatens the safety and quality of life for children, parents and communities citywide, the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council (HHSYC) and NYS Assemblyman William Scarborough held a Town Hall Meeting at York College in Jamaica, Queens on March 22nd.
Over 400 people attended the highly successful event. All were looking for a solution to the child care problem that has been looming for about 6 years.The purpose of the event was to let the parents and children know that help was on the way through the launch of the “Child Care, Education and Public Safety” campaign created by the HHSYC to provide solutions to the problems within the 55.8 billion dollar Child Care Industry.
Several elected officials spoke to the audience showing their support including Queen B.P. Helen Marshall, Assemblywoman Vivian Cook, City Councilman Ruben Wills and the event sponsor Assemblyman Scarborough. Additional speakers included Tammie Miller, Chapter Chair, Home Childcare Providers, UFT and Mabel Everett, President, Daycare Local 205.
Over the last 6 years the Child Care business has been under siege. There have been Centers and after school programs closed; increases in fees and now the elimination of Vouchers, which help low income families. 16 Centers are scheduled for closing without an impact study to assess the short and long term damage to parents, children and the surrounding community. It‟s not proper procedure to implement any policy that may have a negative impact on our children without parental, political and community board input.
Closing centers threatens public safety, education, employment and the economic growth of our nation. Many Parents are now forced to remove their children from closed quality city centers and leave their children alone compromising their safety. Neglect, abuse and child endangerment cases are sure to rise, especially in minority communities, as Child Care Centers continue to be plagued with budget cuts and closings.